Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Inuit To Investigate Slaughter of Sled Dogs in Arctic

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association is holding public hearings to explore allegations that thousands of Inuit sled dogs were slaughtered by the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) in the Arctic.

"The mandate that has been given to us by QIA is to investigate and do some hearings and interviews ... to find out about the dog slaughter," said Joanasie Akumalik from the truth commission.

Some of the Inuit have long claimed that the RCMP killed about 20,000 sled dogs in Nunavut from the 1950s to 1970s. The RCMP says some dogs were killed because they were sick or posed a danger to Arctic residents. The RCMP also denied allegations of an organized, mass slaughter, and an RCMP investigation cleared the police of any wrongdoing.

The QIA formed their own truth commission claiming the RCMP report gave a one-sided view of what happened. The QIA panel will travel to communities in the Qikiqtani Baffin region this year to hear from the people.

Let's hope that things can get resolved quickly because the Inuit people and the RCMP depend on each other up in the Arctic to maintain the peace. Being so remote, the Inuit communities in the Arctic utilize the RCMP as the official police department in the region.

On a more positive note, see Free Spirit Gallery's extensive collection of Inuit Art Information articles.

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